ObamaCare: Oh, the Humanity!

By | November 7, 2013 | 0 Comments


Cancer patient Edie Littlefield Sundby loses her health insurance, and can no longer access the doctors or hospitals that have been keeping her alive.
– Wall Street Journal

Commenting on the flaming crash of the debut of ObamaCare, pundits concentrated on specifics. Why has Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sibelius not been told to resign? Why was the company chosen by a noncompetitive bid to develop the website located in Canada? Why did it have a checkered history? Why was an executive of that company a classmate of Michelle Obama at Princeton?
But rather than these and other narrow questions, let us ask a broader question: Why did any intelligent person imagine that the health insurance – and ultimately the health care – of all 317 million Americans could be directed by one centralized bureaucracy?
What historical precedent is there for such a belief? The Soviet Union lasted 74 years. During all this time, the Communist Party claimed to be “building socialism” and creating the “new Soviet man.” But after 74 years, they still hadn’t gotten it quite right, and the whole top-heavy contraption collapsed of its own weight. Not only that, but it carried with it the totalitarian systems of the East Bloc, from East Germany to Romania.
Perhaps it is time to recognize that socialism is like wife-beating – there is no way to do it right. As Maggie Thatcher so mordantly pointed out, socialists always run out of other people’s money. And they also run out of other people’s freedoms. Socialism collapses when there is no more money and no more freedom to confiscate.
The Chinese, not being fools, took note of these events. They changed their communist system to a system of state capitalism – what we used to call fascism. Yes, they still use communist rhetoric and still call the ruling junta the “Central Committee.” But they might as well use the terminology that Mussolini used for the Fascist Party of Italy. It’s just that fascism is out of favor, while socialism still has many adherents – though not so many as in former years.
Socialists from Scandinavia to Australia are seeing the light and relaxing their tight grip on their economies. But paradoxically, while the world over, central planning is losing favor, here in America, supposedly the bastion of independence and individualism, the “elite” are still pushing their agenda of centralized control. They want to control everything from light bulbs and toilets, to dishwashing detergent and shower heads, to salt shakers and sodas, to health care. Why? Let Tom Clancy tell you:

The problem was that people tended to wed their ideas more faithfully than their spouses, and the tendency was universal.

If we don’t want America to become Detroit writ large, with high unemployment, dilapidated buildings, disintegrating public services, and feral young people roaming the streets, we need to pay attention.
● We need to stop worshipping the idol of bigness, and regain our respect for what actually works, rather than what looks impressive on paper.
● We need to stop worshipping the idol of higher education, which too often turns out to be leftist indoctrination, and regain our respect for practical knowledge gained from hands-on experience.
● We need to regain our respect for people with real-world experience of actually doing something, rather than for people who got advanced degrees for merely talking about it. A small-town doctor could have told the “elite” that centralized control of health care will be inefficient at best, and downright deadly at worst. A teenaged computer geek could have told the “elite” that the ObamaCare website wasn’t ready for prime time. But the “elite” wouldn’t have lowered themselves to ask members of the ignorant “masses.” No, the “elite” asked other members of the “elite” – who agreed that the plan was superb.
● We need to emulate Henry Ford, who paid his workers higher wages so that they could buy the cars they made, rather than what we are doing now – shipping skilled jobs overseas, while importing low-skilled immigrants to fill low-paying jobs that may or may not be there. Now that’s unsustainable.
● We need to emulate A. P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America, who looked for people with calluses on their hands, not on their behinds.
Europeans worship bigness – first in the form of imperialism, which led to two terrible world wars, and then in the form of the European Union, which is in serious trouble. The French still dream of the days of Louis XIV, the Germans still reminisce about Bismarck and the kaiser, and in Russia Putin is doing his best to reinstitute czarism. It is deeply ironic that we Americans use the term “czars” to describe the unelected officials who control more and more of our daily lives.
In effect, Europeans went from absolute monarchy, to communism and Nazism, to a more benign but still unworkable European Union – different versions of bigness. Whatever it is called, statism means big government. And what is the inevitable result? Let Dennis Prager tell you:

The bigger the government, the smaller the individual.

The end result of the worship of bigness is globalization. It is too soon to assess what its outcome will be. But so far, the results of exporting skilled jobs while importing unskilled workers do not look promising.
Sometimes smaller is better. Sometimes local is better. Sometimes doing less is better. In the end, nothing is too big to fail, including big gasbags like the Hindenburg, big ships like the Titanic, big corporations like General Motors, big cities like Detroit, big bureaucracies like ObamaCare, and big countries like the Soviet Union – or even America.
The dinosaurs were really big, too, but their brains were small, so you don’t see many of them around anymore. The smaller, smarter, more adaptable mammals survived and prospered. Those who revere evolution and respect Darwin should take note.
Author’s Note:
You want a preview of coming attractions? Check out this graph, taken from Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, Oct. 25, 2013, vol. 62, p. 847:

The broken line shows emergency department visits in which the patient was seen by a non-physician (physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.). The figure is about 17% and rising. But the solid line shows visits in which a physician was not even present in the department at the time. This figure is about 7% and also rising.

That’s the future, the near future. You lost your insurance and your doctor, so you go to the hospital emergency department, exactly what you were promised you would not  have to do. And there, you see a non-physician, who may not even be able to talk to a physician about your problem before making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment.

I thought they said “two tier” medicine, referring to the comprehensive care the rich will receive, and the inadequate care the rest of us will get. But I was mistaken. They really said “two tear” medicine, referring to the fact that ObamaCare will provide care that will be a crying shame. 

The graph ends at 2010. If the trend continues, this year about 10% of emergency department visits do not involve a doctor. ObamaCare does not include one penny for training more doctors. Now we know why. It’s called queuing – forcing people to wait in long lines at each step of trying to get health care. But ObamaCare also doesn’t include one penny to train more physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners. Have a nice day.

We did it to ourselves. We saw the long waiting times in Canada. We saw the lousy cancer survival rates in Britain. But we voted for politicians who thought these were role models to emulate. We voted for politicians who looked at our health-care system, with the best cancer survival rates in the world, and called it “broken.” If you want someone to blame, look in the mirror.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.


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